Broadcasting 24 hours a day from Clonmellon, Co. Westmeath.

SONY C20 Video Cassette Player (1983)

As the world moves ever forward and new technological breakthroughs enable us to experience our music and video on ever smaller and better devices, I want to pause and take a look back at some old equipment that I have here, mostly lying in cupboards, wardrobes, in the attic and even under the bed. The items on display are from my own collection however I am on the lookout for our listeners to send in their own images too for display here.


This SONY C20 is a mono Videocassette manufactured in 1983

The SL-C20 was a stylish slim looking basic Betamax model. It was the brother to the SL-C30. The difference was that the C20 had no remote control and was silver in colour whereas the SL-C30 was black and had a remote control. Other than this the two were indistinguishable.

These machines incorporated many features of the mechanism used in the earlier SL-C9 albeit stripped down presumably to save on manufacturing cost. Today these machines are beginning to show their age, however, they are well worth maintaining as spare parts are still obtainable.

Other models which were basically the same machine, such as the SL-C40 which featured linear stereo sound were released but in so small numbers it is hard to find one these days. These were also produced in unusual colours such as red and gold.


full rear



Video recording system
Rotary two-head helical scanning
Video Signal
CCIR standards, PAL colour
Aerial input
75-ohm, asymmetrical aerial socket
Channel coverage
UHF: Western European channels
E21 - E68
(Up to 12 programmes can be preset.)
RF output signal
UHF channels E30 to E39 (variable)
75 ohms, unbalanced


Horizontal resolution
260 lines
B/W:300 lines
Video S/N
Colour: Better than 40dB
B/W: Better than 43dB
Audio frequency response
50Hz to 10,000Hz
Audio S/N
Better than 40dB

Inputs and outputs

Video inputVIDEO IN: BNC connector1.0 V (p-p)75 ohms, unbalanced,sync negativeVideo outputVIDEO OUT: BNC connector1.0 V (p-p)75Ohms, unbalanced,sync negativeAudio inputsAUDIO IN: phono jack47 kilohms, -10 dBs(0 d Bs = 0.775 V rms)Audio outputsAUDIO OUT: Phono jackLoad impedance less than 10 kilohms-10 dBs with 47 kilohms load,unbalanced


Tape transport

Tape speed
18.73 mm/sec.
Maximum recording time
2 hours 10 min. (with Sony L-500 cassette)
3 hours 15 min. (with L-750)
Fast forward/rewind time
Within 5 min. (with L-500)


Crystal lock
Time indication
24-hour cycle
Timer setting Only for recording
1 events/week, adjustable for any day or
for all 7 days of the week or for every week
Power back-up
3 mins at any one time


Power requirements
240v AC, 50-60 Hz
Power consumption
Approx. 430 x 105 x 360 mm (w/h/d)
(17 x 4 1/4 x 14 1/4 inches)
including projecting parts and controls
Approx. 10 kg (22 lbs 1 oz) net